From conducting copious research on keeping chickens I can think of no better livestock for the Ecospaces Urban Farm. Not only am I hoping to be able to produce eggs the chickens should give the farm a constant supply of natural fertiliser for the crops. This will have to composted first as the high nitrogen content of the fresh droppings can burn the plants.
The coop has been constructed of external grade ply raised on each corner by 100x100mm treated posts, I built it to be robust as I am not taking any chances the local foxes are cunning and quite capable of breaking through flimsy construction. I have allowed the roof to overhang slightly with roofing felt to make sure it does not become damp inside. I have varnished the inside as well as out this will make it easier to clean out and will discourage red mite which once you get is hard to get rid of.
I initially planned to just have a 6 feet fence of 13mm galvanised chicken mesh as a run for the chickens. I was horrified to learn foxes can jump this height so I added a roof to this and sunken mesh into the ground to stop foxes trying to dig underneath. I have a small pop hole for the chickens to access the run and a large side door so I can enter the coop to clean it and retrieve any eggs from the nest boxes.
Paul Nicolaides is a landscape Architect from North London and Director of Ecospaces Limited ecological Landscape design & build contractors. His ambition is to help accelerate change to a more sustainable ecological society. A society that plans its urban environments integrating agriculture, wildlife habitat, natural processes, recycling, industry, and sustainable urban drainage. Above all Paul aims to integrate these disciplines and realise there compatibility both on a local and landscape level.